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Return To Forever - Chick Corea: Return To Forever CD (album) cover


Return To Forever


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 265 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Return to Forever's first album - originally presented as a Chick Corea solo album, establishes the band's sound as something quite distinct from the Mahavishnu Orchestra or Weather Report's efforts from the same era (those two bands being close siblings to RtF, since all three groups were led by veterans of Miles Davis' groundbreaking In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew sessions). The album's sound is distinguished mainly by the husband and wife percussion team of Airto Moreira and Flora Purim - with Purim's vocals generally being light and airy, though showing a bit more range in her wordless wails accompanying the opening self-titled song.

The Latin rhythms laid down by Moreira and Purim dominate the album's sound for much of the full fusion sections, though of course Corea's electric piano textures and Stanley Clarke's capable bass work is never far away. Joe Farrell, the group's wind instrument master, gets a nice chance to take the spotlight in Crystal Silence, more of a pure jazz track than a fusion track, which is focused on a gorgeous saxophone performance from him.

On the whole, this is an album which manages to be consistently pleasant but not much more than that; there's nothing mindblowing on here, and whilst the group is technically competent and more than capable of playing some fast and furious fusion - as the La Fiesta section of the sidelong Somewhere Ago/La Fiesta suite neatly demonstrates - it feels here as though they are making preliminary sketches rather than creating any truly tight and top-flight compositions. Three stars.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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